30 March 2021

Reforming electricity sectors in Northeastern America

On March 29th, Marcel Boyer, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Université de Montréal, and Pierre-Olivier Pineau, Full Professor in the Department of Decision Sciences and Holder of the Chair in Energy Sector Management at HEC Montréal, both CIRANO Researcher and Fellow, presented the results of their research during a webinar on the electricity sector in North America's Northeast region organized by HEC Montréal.



  • Marcel Boyer presented on "Northeast America Electricity Profile: Proposal of a Free Trade Area".
    • The government of Quebec should formally propose to the governments of neighboring American states (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT, NJ, NY, PA, IL, IN, MI, OH, WI, DE, MD, WV, KY) and the provinces of eastern Canada (NL, NS, NB, ON) an integrated common market in electricity with appropriate commonly owned and shared interconnections and regulatory institutions allowing effective, efficient, transparent and fluid exchanges. The important technological complementarities between the regional production capacities and technologies and the high value added of integration, in particular with the massive arrival of renewable but intermittent energies, are likely to create a win-win situation for all participants. But the game is not only complex, but also demands from the regional leaders, Premiers and Governors, a long-term vision based on strategic complementarities and open competition. Major enabling features revolve around opening the ownership structure of regional producers, integrating the independent system operators (ISO), implementing appropriate mechanisms to adequately face the “not in my backyard (NIMBY)” syndrome.
      • Read the CIRANO Working Paper on the subject here.
  • Pierre-Olivier Pineau presented the results of an analysis of the benefits of greater regional integration for decarbonization (paper "Deep Decarbonization in Northeastern North America: The Value of Electricity Market Integration and Hydropower", forthcoming in Energy Policy).
    • Canadian provinces and northeastern U.S. states are engaged in ambitious decarbonization efforts, which will primarily affect the electricity sector. Increased collaboration and integration between these jurisdictions could reduce these decarbonation costs, particularly when significant hydroelectric resources are available, as is the case in Quebec. We present here the benefits that greater regional integration can bring under different scenarios: levels of GHG emission reductions, increased demand and availability of different technologies (nuclear and renewable natural gas).


Event Website